Question about 1995 Ford Windstar

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My 1995 Windstar has a loose ignition lock cylinder. It's got progressively worse, and it seems that if the key is not removed in just the right position, there is some kind of closed circuit formed which drains the battery, leaving the vehicle unable to start. Since the battery drain problem seems to be related to the position of the cylinder when the key is taken out (when the cylinder feels extremely loose, it's not a problem), I figure that the issue is the cylinder, and that replacing it may fix the issue. Is this a correct assumption, or might it be something else? (We have tried replacing the battery, but even with the older battery, as long as the cylinder was loose enough, the van could be parked for days and still start on the first try.) As long as one remembered to leave the cylinder feeling just right, it was something we had learned to live with, but recently, something changed, and it's hard to leave it feeling 'loose' enough, and of course the battery is draining in a very short time.  Any advice would be much appreciated.

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  • Israel Adame
    Israel Adame May 27, 2010

    Is the steering wheel (tilt wheel) loose or just the cylinder?

  • gp9r Jun 10, 2010

    Hello iadame,

    Only the cylinder is loose.

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  • Master
  • 676 Answers

Sounds as if the key and cylinder will need to be replaced. The cylinder will not be very expensive but it will take you time to get to it. You will need to remove the steering wheel, lock plate, and turn signal assembly in order to remove screw holding the cyclinder. The tools can usually be rented at your local auto parts store for little to no money. It would be advisable to change it out as it may soon go from loose to freezing up on you. good luck.

Posted on Jun 10, 2010

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Lock Cylinder Functional
Removal
  1. NOTE: The following procedure applies to vehicles that have functional ignition switch lock cylinders (11582), lock cylinder keys are available for these vehicles or the lock cylinder key numbers are known and the proper key can be made.

    Disconnect battery ground cable (14301). Refer to Section 14-01 .
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  1. The following procedure applies to vehicles that have a functional ignition switch lock cylinder (11582) and keys. If the key numbers are known, the correct key can be made. Disconnect the battery ground cable (14301). For additional information, refer to Section 14-01 .
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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  1. Disconnect battery ground cable (14301). Refer to Section 14-01 .
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  1. Rotate ignition switch lock cylinder (11582) to the RUN position.
  1. Remove the two screws retaining ignition switch (11572).
  1. Disengage the ignition switch from the actuator.


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Item Part Number Description 1 11572 Ignition Switch 2 — Ignition Switch Lock Cylinder Housing 3 — Slot in Lock/Column Assembly A — (Part of 11572) Pin B — Alignment Mark
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NOTE: A new replacement ignition switch assembly will be set in the RUN position as received.

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Ford Taurus/Sable 1986-1995 Repair Information grey_line.gif

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION

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The following procedure applies to vehicles that have functional lock cylinders. Such cylinders either have a key available or known key numbers from which a key can be made.
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